Home made bread, home made relish, home made hummus, and even marmite. All the comforts of home. Belinda has delegated everyone positions of responsibility. Juliet is "drinks monitor", dishing out beers, wine and the odd slightly stronger refreshment.....like coffee. Tessa has been delegated "head chef", and has been churning out delicious kai, tenderloins steaks, with new potatoes and coleslaw, chocolate cake, and the like. Pricey is "chief bottle washer", "IT advisor", "medical advisor", and "official drinks and cake taster", hands in sink, in electric cords and mobiles, and first aid kits, and taste buds working overtime.
Other than licking some bowls, I've been released from any official duties, as I try to come to grips with my new Samsung Galaxy Note 10. The Note 8 screen had been smashed when I had my fall in Vietnam, and has been "overheating" ever since, so Samsung NZ have sent me an update version. Thanks heaps guys. There has been heaps of learning, as I try to shift all my stuff from one machine to another. But it's all done, and I've got to say, I love this new tool, that allows me to record and share my adventures.
Belinda has been coordinating it all... Camp Mother.... buying, cooking, cleaning, sorting kids, visitors, distressed locals, and us kiwis.
Nick has been working from home, his office having been red stickered. He is setting up a Geo-technical survey of tracks, bridges, and lodges in the main trekking areas. He is continuely ringing staff and offering them support and assistance. He is being incredibly proactive, hoping to be able to give an informed assessment and recommendation to both commercial interests and tourists, as to which trails will be safe for the new trekking season. Many locals are still dumbstruck, and/or working hard to manage rebuilding of homes and villages for their families. Along with hotels, airlines and trekking companies, Nick is working to reboot Nepali tourism. My Nepali friend Dipak in Adelaide, is getting involved as well.
Meanwhile we've all been meeting some very interesting people.
Mick Chapman, a Brit from Reading, who lives in the Orkney Islands, and Kathmandu, is married to a Tibet beauty, and has a long history of mountain climbing in Nepal.
Troy and Danny..... two dad's, with three sons... Troy works out of the USA Embassy for the Peace Corp..... while Danny, the "trailing spouse", teaches English to Nepali employees at the Embassy. They've all shifted out of their apartment because of earthquake damage, and moved in opposite the Hanmer Springs Embassy, which is great for all the kids......lots of company....lots of fun and games.
Sunil... who owns Park Village. He was once a pilot in the Himalayan mountains, so has lots of stories. He and I have decided that Hanmer Springs and Park Village Kathmandu are now "sister villages". We will leave it to Councilor Fletcher to sort out the nitty gritty, documentation, and official stuff, including brass plates for Hanmer Springs Hall and Park Village gates.
Sujan, a retired Nepali Army Colonel. Sujan works for Nick at Peak, DMC Nepal. He has lots of stories about peace keeping roles in Haiti, Congo, Afghanistan and Croatia.
And the Pakistan visa I hear you all asking? After another two hours sitting waiting, the offered me a 10 day, dropped from 2 week, transit visa. Not nearly enough to cycle from Lahore to China, and gather visas on the way. And just this week, some more bombings and shootings in Pakistan. A message me thinks. So NO Pakistan. Instead, Tessa and I are cycling to Leh, via Manali, through the mountains of NW India. Then to Delhi, where I will fly to Biskek in Kyrgyzstan. So, I've been very busy organizing all those visas.....
Pricey and Ju fly home tomorrow. Tessa and I cycle out of Kathmandu Monday. The adventure continues....